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Iraq in $396 mln power deals with Hyundai Engineering

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has signed contracts worth $396 million with South Korea's Hyundai Engineering to build two power plants as it tries to increase electricity supplies, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The plants will have a total capacity of 1,752 megawatts, Laith al-Mamury, head of investments and contracts at the electricity ministry, said.

"The ministry signed a contract with Hyundai Engineering to build five units, each with a capacity of 292 megawatts (and) with a value of $308 million in Rumaila," Mamury told Reuters.

The second deal, worth $88.5 million is for a plant with one 292 MW gas unit at Taza in Iraq's northern Kirkuk province, Mamury said.

The gas units were bought from Siemens in a contract signed in 2008.

Mamury said the Rumaila contract was expected to be completed in 21 months while the Taza deal would be finished within 18 months.

Iraq is trying to ramp up electricity production as it rebuilds after years of war and international sanctions. Intermittent power is a chief complaint of Iraqis and demand far exceeds supply.

Iraq finalized a $1.08 billion contract with China's CMEC last week to build a 1,260-megawatt thermal power plant.

(Reporting by Aseel Kami; editing by Serena Chaudhry)

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